Grad gets culinary arts degree


Cody Jensen at The Art Institute of Charlotte at his table for Portfolio Show. A graduation requirement where local employers come through taste food that graduates have made and pick up graduates information for potential job. — Submitted photo Cody Jensen at The Art Institute of Charlotte at his table for Portfolio Show. A graduation requirement where local employers come through taste food that graduates have made and pick up graduates information for potential job. — Submitted photo Cody Jensen, a 2012 graduate of Plymouth High School, has always had a passion for cooking.

“Ever since he was a little boy growing up, he was in that kitchen every chance he could get,” said his mother, Mary Jensen.

Cody, who in December received his associate’s degree in culinary arts from The International Culinary Schools at The Art Institute of Charlotte, took all available foods classes while at PHS.

“If it wasn’t for Mrs. (Connie) Lund and Mrs. (Gale) Litt, I would not be where I am today,” he said. “They worked with me for four years, giving me pointers, tips, events, class trips and – most importantly – believing!”

Mrs. Lund introduced Cody to Youth Apprenticeship, a program through Lakeshore Technical College in which high school students complete 450 hours of work in their chosen field while earning high school and college credits.

Cody began his apprenticeship in July 2010 at Just Ottos Restaurant inside The Osthoff Resort, and over the next few years also worked at banquets, Lola’s on the Lakes and the lakefront concession stand.

“Working at the resort through the program has trained me well, working long shifts, serving large numbers, and everyday learning something new,” he said. “Knife skills were put to use every day, working fast with minimal errors along the way, and lastly having the knowledge to ensure a great standard with exceptional food.”

In the summer of 2013, Cody moved to Charlotte, N.C., to attend The International Culinary Schools. While attending school full time, he also worked two jobs: at a local restaurant called Trio and at the Savory Spice shop.

“It has been a long hard ride to get to this point, being put to my limits, sleepless nights, going to school and leaving from school to go straight to work, just never having that second to breathe,” he said.

Cody has been offered a position at Southminister, a retirement community in North Carolina with about 380 residents. He feels blessed to “be able to work at a place that has been winning awards left and right with exceptional service, with our on-site garden that the residents help with, or all of the local vendors that we work with to give the best and freshest.”

Cody also has applied to be on the Food Network shows “Chopped” and “Cut-Throat Kitchen.” “The life as a chef is now what I eat, sleep, and breathe,” he said. “Thank you to all of you who have helped form me into the chef that I am today.”


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